Gexx in Knoxville

This blog is about Gexx, in Knoxville

Blogswarm: Take Back the Blog

Posted by Gexx on April 28, 2007

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Take Back the Blog: “in support of the rights of women to participate fully in all aspects of our society, including specifically online in the world of blogging but indeed everywhere and at all times, day and night, without fear of harassment, intimidation, sexual harassment, online stalking and slander, predation or violence of any sort.”

Oh goodness. I hope that I can fully explain my point, although it does deviate some from the general point of this Blogswarm. I suppose, though, that I should start with a preamble for those who are just joining me and do not know me personally. Then, perhaps, my position may make more sense.

Abstract: A portion of the internet is populated by the lowest common denominator. The effort to stop them is a waste. The responsibility instead lies with the reader to recognize these posts and comments. An intelligent reader or a professional will use discretion. But…

The blog, livejournal, or online authorship program of an individual’s choice is a new medium of communication, expression, and dialogue. News articles tell the public this. News companies have even attempted to ride the want of publication by incorporating the public as lay journalists blogging and posting footage on the news website.

The online community allows for social networking with sites like MySpace and Facebook. Professional communities have even started to adopt this format for networking within disciplines beyond ListServes.

Blogs are a place for an individual to post musings and observations. It has become a place for political commentary and, dependent on the reader, threatening political dissension. Remember that: dependent on the reader.

The blog is not static, not discrete. It involves its readers in various levels, based on the anonymity of the author, the ability to leave comments, and the anonymity of those.

So – why do I bring this up? I live in the US (dropping a slight vestige of anonymity, I guess), I have no need to worry any politically charged blog postings being held against me. Do I?

No – I do not, thankfully. At least, to a point. This point is where we get to have our discussion. Anything that I post myself, or that is posted about me, is unregulated. That is the beauty of the internet. Anything can be written, and it should be that way. These “trolls,” however, can cause damage. Therefore, a responsibility is placed on the reader.

Although it is not appreciated, any of you readers do have the ability to threaten and demean me in my comments. Until I moderate my comments and remove these posts, subsequent readers have the ability and the right to read said comments regarding my (lack of) sexual proficiency involving a candelabra and a goat. The responsibility lies in the reader, however, on whether or not to trust these commenters on an appropriate judgment of my possession or quality of goat-alabring skills.

So – where does this seemingly off-the-wall example lead? One more point and then we will tie it together.

I would expect my professional community to not post such goat-alabring comments on my professional profile. Why? Because it’s not professional. Simple, right?

Not so much. The main example which leads to the TBtB post of today is documented here by WaPo, as well as here and here by an individual impacted.

What is to be done when a professional community turns on its own members, in this instance objectifying based on gender (here, also synonymous with BioSex)? When an employer Googles a potential hire, what is to be expected when comments on breasts and supposed STDs are returned? Is the potential employer expected to have this discretion? Either way, this is a liability to the individual commented upon.

So, dear reader, spread the word on intelligent comment processing and THINK. Those who we would truly wish to remove from the general population are destined to stay. Its our Catch-22. So learn to live with them, and spread the word.

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